Recently completed admission programmes

Federal government humanitarian admission programmes

In 2013 and 2014, due to the war in Syria, the federal government set up three admission programmes for Syrian civil war refugees. These programmes enabled around 20,000 refugees to enter Germany safely. Admission via the first government programme was at first restricted to Syrians and their family members. Via the second and third government programmes individual stateless individuals who had been living in Syria for at least three years were also included. Syrians and stateless individuals who were residents in the countries of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, Egypt and Libya were eligible to apply.

Federal state humanitarian admission programmes

By November 2015 around 19,000 visas had been issued for Syrians to safely enter Germany through the humanitarian admission programmes of the federal states. In individual cases, stateless individuals who had lived for at least three years in Syria were also able to enter. Most of the visas were issued to people with relatives in North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony, as those are the two provinces with the largest Syrian communities in Germany.

German resettlement programme

In December 2011, a three-year pilot project for admitting 300 individuals a year via resettlement from 2012 to 2014 was decided upon by the Conference of the Ministers of the Interior. In 2012, Iraqi refugees from Turkey and nationals of African countries from the Choucha refugee camp in Tunisia entered as part of this pilot project. In the following year, around 300 Iraqi and Iranian refugees living in Turkey were admitted. In 2014 the programme enabled safe entry for Tamil refugees originating from Sri Lanka and living in Indonesia.  In addition, non-Syrian nationals living as refugees in Syria were admitted as part of an emergency evacuation.

After the successful conclusion of the pilot project, in December 2014 the Conference of the Ministers of the Interior committed to continuing German activities in the area of resettlement. The annual admission quota was initially increased to 500 individuals for 2015. The 500 individuals admitted in 2015 originated from the countries of Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, and Syria. In June 2015, a group of stateless Palestinian refugees from Syria who were imprisoned in Egypt after their boat capsized in the Mediterranean was admitted to Germany. On December 14th, 2015, the last group of the total of 500 individuals admitted in 2015 were admitted from the Sudan.